The Benefits of Replacing Your AC and Furnace Together

As the weather begins to transition from the chill of winter to the warmth of spring, now is the perfect time to consider upgrading your home’s HVAC system. At Hometown Heating, Air & Electric, we understand the importance of maintaining a comfortable indoor environment year-round. One of the most significant decisions homeowners face is whether replacing their AC and furnace separately or together is better.

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of replacing your AC and furnace simultaneously and why it’s a smart investment for your home.

Replacing Your AC and Furnace at the Same Time

Maximize your efficiency and comfort and enjoy these benefits when you replace your AC and furnace together:

Workers of Hometown Heating, Air & Electric transporting a Lennox HVAC system because the homeowner wanted the benefits of replacing their AC and furnace simultaneously

Cost & Time Savings

Replacing your air conditioner and furnace together can lead to significant cost and time savings in the long run. While it may seem like a larger upfront investment, bundling the replacement allows you to take advantage of package deals and discounts. Additionally, opting for a dual replacement eliminates the need for multiple installation visits, reducing labor costs and minimizing disruptions.

Our team is dedicated to providing reliable installation services, ensuring your system is up and running in no time.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

Newer HVAC systems are designed to be more energy-efficient, helping you reduce your carbon footprint and lower your monthly utility bills. By upgrading both your air conditioner and furnace simultaneously, you ensure both components work seamlessly together, maximizing energy efficiency and overall performance. Plus, modern systems often come with advanced features such as programmable thermostats and zoning options. These allow you to customize your indoor climate and further optimize energy usage.

Warranty Considerations

When you replace your air conditioner and furnace together, you simplify the warranty process. This helps you avoid potential issues down the road. As a Lennox dealer, Hometown Heating, Air & Electric works with Lennox, which offers warranties that cover parts for a specified period. By installing both systems simultaneously, you ensure parts for both are protected under the same warranty terms. To learn more about what’s covered under warranty, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Increased Home Value

Investing in a new air conditioner and furnace can enhance the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Energy-efficient HVAC systems are a desirable feature for homebuyers, and having newer equipment in place can set your home apart. Plus, a well-maintained and upgraded HVAC system demonstrates that you’ve taken proactive steps to maintain your home, instilling confidence in potential buyers.

Replacing your air conditioner and furnace together offers numerous benefits, from cost and time savings to increased home value. If you’re considering upgrading your HVAC system, now is the ideal time to take action.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the advantages of replacing your AC and furnace simultaneously.

Heating Emergency: How to Survive the Cold When Your Furnace Quits

couple bundling up in a heating emergency

As the frigid winds sweep through Wisconsin, the last thing you want is for your heating system to call it quits. A sudden loss of heat can be not only uncomfortable but also potentially dangerous, especially in the heart of winter. So, what do you do when your furnace decides to take an unscheduled vacation? Here’s a guide to help you navigate a heating emergency situation in the Badger State:

1. Check the Basics

Before panicking, ensure the basics are covered. Sometimes, the issue might be a simple fix.

  • Verify your thermostat is set correctly, the circuit breakers are not tripped, and the furnace switch is in the “on” position.
  • If all of those items are in the proper position, locate the emergency shut-off switch, typically located on the furnace itself. Ensure it’s turned on. If the switch is off, flipping it back on might resolve the problem.
  • Finally, for those who have older furnaces with a pilot light, check if it’s still burning. If it’s out, relight it following the manufacturer’s instructions. If the pilot light won’t stay lit, it might indicate a deeper issue that requires professional attention.

2. Contact the Professionals

In Wisconsin where winter can be harsh, it’s crucial to have a reliable heating professional on speed dial. At Hometown Heating, Air & Electric, we’re here to help you in a heating emergency. Keep our contact information close by, so if an emergency situation happens, you’re ready and can contact us right away. It’s worth having this information handy for unexpected situations.

How to Contact Hometown Heating, Air & Electric:

3. Utilize Temporary Heating Solutions

In an emergency, you need warmth, and fast. If your situation is dire, you may have to wait a short time for help to come your way. Consider these temporary heating solutions while you wait:

  • Blankets: While waiting for professional assistance, layer up in warm clothing and use blankets.
  • Fireplace: If you have a fireplace, now is the time to use it as it’s a quick way to bring heat into your home.
  • Oven: Bake something in your oven, and when finished, turn off your oven, but keep the door open to let in heat.
  • Space Heaters: If you have electric space heaters, use them to provide temporary warmth.
  • Sunshine: If it’s daytime and the sun is shining, open your blinds and curtains to let the sun in.
  • Towels: Seal drafts with weather stripping or towels to keep as much warmth inside as possible.

While these solutions can be helpful in a heating emergency, remember to follow safety guidelines and use these options only as temporary solutions.

4. Employ Preventative Maintenance to Avoid Another Heating Emergency

Once the emergency is resolved, schedule preventive maintenance for your heating system. Regular inspections and tune-ups can catch potential issues before they become emergencies. Maintaining your furnace won’t just help during emergencies — it will also help keep your bills down and extend the lifespan of your heating equipment.

Remember, when facing a heating emergency in Wisconsin, acting promptly and seeking professional help is key. Stay warm and safe during the winter months, and don’t let a heating hiccup put a freeze on your comfort.

If you have any questions or want to schedule a furnace tune-up, please contact us. Don’t just survive the cold — but beat it with Hometown Heating, Air & Electric.

Heat Smart, Spend Smart: 10 Ways To Save On Heating This Winter

woman sitting by the fire trying to save on heating this winter

Winter has a magical way of transforming our beautiful state into a snowy wonderland, but it can also turn your heating bill into a frosty nightmare. Fear not! Hometown Heating, Air & Electric is here to sprinkle some warmth and wisdom on how to keep your heating costs low without sacrificing comfort. So, let’s dive into the cozy world of energy efficiency and discover the secrets to save on your heating bill that won’t break the bank.

10 Ways to Save on Heating This Winter

Find out the secrets to a toasty home this winter:

1. Snuggle Up Your Home

No, we’re not suggesting you invest in an army of fluffy pets (although that sounds pretty tempting). Instead, make your home a snuggle sanctuary by sealing any drafts. Grab a tube of caulk and weatherstripping to plug gaps around windows and doors, preventing precious heat from escaping and cold drafts from sneaking in.

2. Embrace Your Smart Thermostat as a Warm Friend

Upgrade to a smart thermostat and let technology do the heavy lifting. These nifty devices learn your heating patterns and adjust the temperature accordingly. Program your thermostat to lower the heat when you’re away and crank it up before you return, ensuring comfort without wasting energy. Even lowering your thermostat by just a degree or two can make a world of difference in cost savings.

3. Let the Sun Shine In

Mother Nature provides a free and fabulous heating source – the sun! During the day, open curtains and blinds to let sunlight naturally warm your home. As the sun sets, close them to trap the heat and keep the winter chill at bay. While these ideas might seem obvious, it’s often the little things that can help you save on heating.

4. Bring Your Blankets into Your Living Spaces

Your blankets aren’t just for beds, so embrace the cozy vibes with blankets and bring them into your living spaces! Layer up with warm throws on couches and beds to create a snug atmosphere. When the temperature drops, reach for a blanket before adjusting the thermostat.

5. Mind Your Vents and Radiators

Don’t let furniture play hide-and-seek with your vents or radiators. Arrange your space so that heat can circulate freely. Move furniture away from these sources to ensure an unobstructed flow of warmth, making your heating system’s job a breeze.

6. Seize the Power of Layers to Save on Heating

While we understand that wearing layers are the key to staying warm, your home follows the same principle. Instead of cranking up the heat, throw on your favorite sweater or hoodie to stay warm and stylish inside.

7. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up

Just like your car needs regular maintenance, so does your furnace. Schedule a tune-up with Hometown Heating, Air & Electric to ensure your heating system is running at peak efficiency. A well-maintained furnace not only keeps your bills down but also extends the lifespan of your heating equipment.

8. Become a Draft Detective

Put on your detective hat and hunt down drafts. Check for gaps around windows, doors, and even electrical outlets. Sealing these openings is a simple yet effective way to prevent cold air from sneaking in.

9. Don’t Get Warm Alone

Engage the whole family in the quest for a lower heating bill. Encourage everyone to wear warm clothes indoors, close doors to unoccupied rooms, and remind them to turn down the thermostat when heading out. Teamwork makes the (warmth) dream work!

10. Cozy Cooking Counts

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and cooking can generate heat. On colder days, consider baking or cooking heartier meals to help warm up your space. Bonus: you get delicious food as a reward!

Remember, keeping your home warm doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. With these creative and cost-effective tips, you’ll be sipping cocoa in a cozy home without worrying about your heating bill. Stay warm and wallet-wise this winter, courtesy of Hometown Heating, Air & Electric!

If you have any questions about any of these tips or want to schedule a furnace tune-up, please contact us. Let’s stay warm this winter.

Understanding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and the Vital Role of HVAC Maintenance

a Hometown Heating, Air & Electric HVAC van, representing how homeowners can protect their homes against carbon monoxide poisoning by regularly maintaining their HVAC system

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is a silent menace that can infiltrate your home without warning, posing a grave threat to your family’s safety. Understanding the risks of CO poisoning is essential to prevent this potential hazard. HVAC maintenance plays a pivotal role in keeping your home CO-free, and we’re here to shed light on the importance of this critical aspect.

This post will define carbon monoxide poisoning, delve into the risks associated with it, and explain how HVAC maintenance can mitigate this potentially lethal threat.

How to Guard Your Home Against the Silent Threat of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Read on to learn how you can protect against your home from CO poisoning:

1. Understanding Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be produced in your home when fuels like natural gas, oil, wood, or propane are not burned completely. Common household appliances can become sources of CO when they are inadequately maintained or malfunction. Some examples of these appliances include the following:

  • Furnaces
  • Water heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Gas stoves

The gas can escape into your living space, silently putting your family’s safety at risk.

2. Considering the Risks

The insidious nature of CO poisoning lies in its initial flu-like symptoms. Understanding what these symptoms may look like can be helpful in identifying a carbon monoxide leak. Some of the primary symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath

Prolonged exposure to elevated CO levels can lead to severe health complications, and in extreme cases, it can be fatal. Tragically, the invisible nature of this gas often means that its presence goes undetected until it’s too late.

3. Preventing CO Poisoning

One of the most effective ways to safeguard your home and family from the dangers of CO poisoning is through regular HVAC maintenance. Our certified technicians can inspect and service your heating systems, ensuring they operate safely and efficiently. This includes checking for leaks, ensuring proper ventilation, and addressing any issues that could potentially release CO into your living space.

Additionally, installing carbon monoxide detectors is a crucial preventive measure. These devices emit an alarm when they detect elevated CO levels, serving as an early warning system for your safety.

To protect your loved ones from this silent threat, it’s imperative to schedule routine HVAC maintenance. At Hometown Heating, Air & Electric, we’re dedicated to keeping your heating systems in top condition and ensuring your home remains a safe, CO-free environment. Take proactive measures to protect your home and health, and don’t wait until disaster strikes.

If you have any questions about carbon monoxide poisoning and how to prevent it, please contact us. We’re ready to help!

11 Things to Look for When Installing a New Furnace

A properly maintained furnace can last approximately 20 years. That said, a furnace nearing the end of its life needs immediate replacement to help keep your home warm, especially at night.

Most professionals do an excellent job and will guide you through the installation process. Regardless, knowing what to look out for before, during, and after installation is essential. There are 11 things that homeowners must watch out for when technicians install a new furnace.

1. Size

An oversized unit can cause overuse of energy, while an undersized furnace won’t heat your home effectively. Simply put, your furnace must match your home’s square footage, which you can confirm during installation. A professional HVAC technician can help you confirm you have the right size before installation begins.

2. Thermostat

The thermostat is an important part of your new furnace, and the technician must set it correctly. If it isn’t programmed or connected correctly, your furnace will not be able to regulate temperature accurately.

Additionally, incorrect thermostat readings can increase energy bills. If the thermostat reading is too low, for example, the thermostat may work longer than necessary, thus overworking the system. A professional technician can show you how to check it periodically to ensure everything is running properly. This could also increase its lifespan.

3. Wiring

Proper wiring ensures your furnace functions safely and properly. Our experts know the type of wiring and electrical components needed for the installation process. Before completing the job, we also test all connections to ensure everything is functional.

4. Air Filter

The air filter is an essential part of your furnace that helps to keep dust and other particles out of the air in your home. Our technicians double check filter functionality to allow airflow throughout your home.

Besides, damaged filters risk dirty indoor air and potential health complications. Therefore, remember to replace the filter regularly according to manufacturer instructions. This will help ensure that your furnace continues to function correctly and efficiently for years to come.

5. Insulation

Insulation is essential to the installation process as it helps keep heat in and energy costs down. Poorly insulated spaces can cause unwanted drafts, uneven temperatures throughout your home, and higher electricity bills.

When installing your furnace, our technicians will add enough insulation around the unit to help optimize performance and efficiency. We will also help you check for any signs of damage or gaps where air may be escaping. Lastly, we will seal any gaps immediately to prevent further issues.

6. Location

Homeowners must determine the best location for proper airflow and insulation. Ideally, the chosen space should have enough room as well as access to a vent that leads outside. The space must also have a reliable electrical outlet.

7. Functional Air Vents and Air Ducts for Maximum Efficiency

Your contractor should inspect your air vents and home ductwork. Poorly sealed ducts can cause substantial energy loss, while debris and dirt can reduce the performance and efficiency of your furnace.

Besides, ventilation issues are a concern when installing a gas furnace, so seal your ducts and ensure they are unobstructed before installation.

8. Keep Flammable Items Away

Clear away items that can catch fire from heat. Also, don’t keep laundry or cleaning products in your furnace room, and ensure all solutions are in airtight containers. Some materials to remove from this area include sawdust, papers, wood scraps, gasoline, old rags, and paint.

9. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Check the batteries for your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to see if they need replacing. You can also test both devices to ensure their functionality.

10. Safety Concerns

Communicate with family members about the need to adhere to safety regulations during installation. This includes shutting off fuel or gas lines and all electrical breakers running to the furnace. Homeowners must also keep children away from the installation room because of exposure to power tools, heavy objects, and sharp metals that can cause an accident.

11. Test Run

A test run is crucial, and homeowners should never skip it. A technician should conduct it in your presence to ensure and confirm its functionality. Look out for any strange noises coming from the unit and any unusual smells or smoke.

Additionally, you can check the temperature of each room to ensure that heat is evenly distributed throughout the home. If anything looks off, a technician can address it right away.

Quality Installation

Do not compromise on quality installation. Our experts at [company_name] are ready to offer professional furnace installation services in Cedarburg, WI and the surrounding communities. We also provide comprehensive heating, cooling, electrical, and indoor quality services. Contact us today!

Is It Smart to Save Money Buying a Used Furnace?

If you’re considering replacing your current furnace, you may have wondered if it’s OK to buy a used furnace to save some money. There’s a lot to weigh when comparing the option of buying a new furnace versus purchasing a used unit. You’ll need to consider things like price tags and different levels of efficiency. Buying used means you could end up with an energy hog or a highly efficient energy-saving machine; below are factors you can consider.

1. Check Its History

The first thing you need to do is investigate the furnace’s history. Make sure that it wasn’t recalled due to any safety issues in the past. Check its age and model number to make sure that there were no recalls or known problems with the unit. You can also ask the seller if they know any of its history and check with the manufacturer for more information.

2. Look for Signs of Water Damage

Water can cause serious damage to an older furnace and even lead to dangerous mold growth inside the unit. If the furnace is located in the basement — or another area that doesn’t get much air circulation — moisture and mold can be especially problematic. These conditions can cause corrosion, which can eventually lead to a leak or breakdown of the unit over time.

3. Examine the Heat Exchanger and Condensing Coils

The first thing to look for is a cracked heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is what keeps the exhaust fumes separate from the air that your family breathes. That’s why if there is a crack in the heat exchanger, it could possibly leak carbon monoxide into your home. If you suspect that has happened, you should not buy the furnace.

You also want to check the condensing coils. The condensing coils are very susceptible to damage from salt or other corrosives, which could be found in soils with high mineral content. You want to make sure they are not damaged or corroded when buying a used furnace.

4. Check for Wear, Tear, and Dirt on the Blower Motor

This is the most important part of a furnace. Check for signs of rust or corrosion on the blower fan. Rust is often a sign that water has entered the unit at some point in its life. This could mean it isn’t airtight and will allow moisture into the ducts when in use.

If you don’t see any rust, check for dirt on the fan or motor itself. If it’s dirty, this could indicate that it has been used heavily. You may need to remove insulation from the back of the furnace to get a good look at it.

Just how do you check for wear, tear, and dirt on the blower motor? You should be able to access this part of your furnace by opening up an access panel on its backside. If you can’t see it right away, try removing insulation from around it first — this may give you a better view of what’s going on inside your unit.

5. Consider the Age of a Used Furnace

If you are looking at purchasing a used furnace, then you will want to know the age of the furnace before making any final decisions. It is important to know the age of the furnace so that you will know how much life is left in it. You also need to consider how often or little the previous owner used it so that way you will be able to tell how much life is left in it as well.

A furnace can last anywhere from 10 to 25 years, depending on its brand and model. If the previous owner didn’t take good care of it, that could shorten the life span significantly. It could even cause safety issues if there are cracks or leaks in the system that could allow carbon monoxide gas into your home. This is why it’s so important to have an HVAC technician evaluate any used furnace before you buy it.

5. Check the Energy Efficiency

Furnaces are rated using the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). A higher AFUE means that more heat from the combustion process is transferred into your ductwork, which means less heat escapes through the flue. The higher the AFUE rating is, the more efficient your furnace will be.

When shopping for a used furnace, ask to see information on its AFUE rating. If you’re buying from an individual homeowner, they may not have this information available. In this case, ask how old their current furnace is and what year it was installed. From there, you can check average AFUE ratings by decade on the website of the company that made the furnace to get an idea of what their current system may be rated at.

At Hometown Heating & Air in Cedarburg, we can come out and assess your furnace and let you know if you need a new one. We also perform AC services as well as indoor air quality tests. Call today to set up service.

How to Extend the Lifecycle of Your Cedarburg, WI Heating System

If your heating system has been working overtime for years to keep your Cedarburg, WI house warm and comfortable, it may be time to get it serviced. Although standard furnaces have a lifetime of 15 years, they frequently fail due to improper maintenance. Attention and regular maintenance, on the other hand, can make your furnace survive longer than its actual lifecycle. The following provides a few pointers to help you extend the lifecycle of your heating system and keep it in good working order.

Replace Your Air Filters

A clogged filter will make your furnace work harder. Dust, dirt, and other indoor contaminants are held in your filter, so they don’t recirculate through the air in your house. If you don’t replace that clogged-up filter, your system will have to work harder to pull air through it, potentially resulting in costly furnace repairs.

So, how frequently should you change your HVAC filter? The general rule is to change it every two to three months. However, if you have pets or household members with allergies, try changing your filter each month.

Have Your Ducts Cleaned

Your ductwork, like any other equipment, requires frequent cleaning and maintenance. Because air ducts are the medium that allows the heated air to enter your home, they are easily polluted with dirt, allergens, and other particles that degrade your air quality. Furthermore, unclean air ducts make your furnace operate harder than it should, thus reducing its lifespan.

As a result, to enhance your home’s air quality, arrange professional HVAC ductwork cleaning. If your home has allergic members, pets, or smokers, you should get your ductwork cleaned more frequently.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

The lifespan of your Cedarburg, WI furnace is determined by how hard you push it. If you’re at the office for eight hours daily but keep your furnace on full blast, you’ll be overworking your system and overpaying on your electricity bills.

Invest in a smart thermostat instead of needing to recall setting your thermostat before going out. You may program your thermostat to alter the temperature of your house depending on the time of day. Set your programmable thermostat’s temperature back by 7-10 degrees for eight hours each day to save the most money. This method can save you up to 10% on your heating expenditures.

Insulate Your Home

If your home has any openings through which heated air might escape, you must seal those gaps immediately. The loss of heated air would significantly increase your utility costs and make your heating system work harder to achieve your desired temperature.

Ensure that no heated air is escaping from the gaps in your ductwork, windows, doors, or any other house components. Maintain your home’s insulation and seal all leaks and cracks as soon as possible.

Use Fans Clockwise

Have you ever seen the tiny switch on the back of your ceiling fan? This is where you may change the rotation of the fan blades. Most people believe that ceiling fans are exclusively used to cool space. However, this is only true if the rotors are turned counter-clockwise. Change the direction of your ceiling fan to clockwise to help warm a space. This draws cold air up and forces any heated air from the ceiling downwards along your walls and onto the flooring.

Using this tactic will make your spaces warmer without requiring you to turn on your heating system. In fact, homeowners who utilize ceiling fans during winter can save 15% on heating costs. This also means that you’re not running your furnace until it’s necessary, which considerably extends its lifespan.

Perform Regular Maintenance

The best way of showing that you care about your furnace is by giving it seasonal maintenance. Get expert maintenance on your system every autumn before turning up your heating system. Allowing an HVAC expert to fully examine and clean your entire system on a regular basis may significantly increase the lifespan of your furnace. A clean furnace will not only operate more effectively than a filthy one but having a maintenance check will also allow our experts to notice any possible repair issues and solve them immediately before they cause significant harm to your system.

We are a certified, experienced, and licensed company serving Cedarburg, WI residents. Our experts can service or perform annual maintenance to keep your furnace working properly. We also offer furnace installation, cooling services, electrical installation, and indoor air quality service. Call Hometown Heating & Air today to set up an appointment.

What’s the Difference Between a Heat Pump and Furnace?

There’s a large draw toward heat pumps given their vastly superior efficiency rating. However, they may not be appropriate for every circumstance. Discover the differences between heat pumps and furnaces as you consider what’s best for your home.

Are There Similarities?

Before looking at what makes these systems different, let’s look at how they’re similar. Both still require air to flow through your house and the system. That means both will have air filters that need periodic changing. It also means that both will need routine maintenance to maintain their operational efficiency.

A professional should also size and install both. Getting a unit that’s too large or too small can have detrimental effects on the system, let alone your utility expenses. Further, both are hazardous to install if not done properly.

Furnaces Generate Heat

Furnaces generate heat to keep your house warm. Depending on your particular unit, it either does this with an electric resistance element or by burning a furnace fuel, which is more common. In southeastern Wisconsin, the most common fuel type is natural gas, which is run to individual homes through underground lines. In more rural areas or with older houses, there may be a fuel tank outside the house, which is usually either propane or oil.

Heat Pumps Transfer Heat

Heat pumps act more like an air conditioner in that their job is to transfer heat, not generate it. Just like an AC unit will absorb heat from the air inside of your home in the summer, making it cooler, it absorbs heat from the outside air in the winter.

This may seem a little odd since you probably think the air outside in the winter is cold. However, it’s cold because your skin and body temperature are warm. When the refrigerant in the heat pump system cycles to the coils outside, it expands and becomes very cold. This difference in temperature allows it to absorb heat, even from what you might think is cold.

When the refrigerant moves into the house, the compressor forces more refrigerant into a smaller space. This increases the pressure, which raises the temperature, allowing it to transfer the heat to the air inside of your home.

Since the heat pump isn’t actually producing heat, the air coming from your vents may not feel as warm as that from a furnace. Heat pumps tend to run nearly constantly in cold weather to keep your home comfortable.

Furnaces Are More Efficient in Colder Weather

Heat pumps can only transfer heat as long as the coils remain colder than the air temperature. The closer the air temperature gets to the temperature of the coils, the less efficiently it runs. The particular heat pump you have will determine the operational temperature range, with most models starting to lose efficiency around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and not working below 25 degrees.

This is why it’s recommended to have a secondary heat source for when the temperatures enter dangerously low ranges in Wisconsin. The most common is to have a furnace that will automatically kick in when temperatures drop below an efficient range. This ensures you’re always running the most efficient heating source for your home. Most all-electric models come with an electric resistance element heater. However, you may opt for a dual-fuel model, which has a standard gas or oil furnace as part of the package.

You Can Both Heat and Cool With a Heat Pump

One of the major draws for heat pumps is that they can pull double duty, both heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. These systems come equipped with a reversing valve, which changes the direction the refrigerant flows in the system. Over the summer, the inside part of the system is low pressure. However, it becomes high pressure during the winter.

Changing from heating to cooling mode is as simple as switching the setting on your thermostat. Simply hit a button or flip a switch, and the system knows what needs to change internally. Just be sure to adjust the temperature properly and reset your programs for the change of seasons.

Hometown Heating & Air Conditioning has been the service provider of choice for people around Cedarburg since 2016. Our award-winning technicians proudly provide air conditioning and heating maintenance, installation, and repair combined with indoor air quality solutions. Call today to schedule your consultation with one of our expert installers to discuss the right system for your home.

Common Furnace Noises and What They Mean

When your furnace suddenly starts making strange sounds, it’s only natural to be concerned. You may be worried about spending a bunch of money on repairs, having your heating system break down on you, or even, in the worst-case scenarios, needing to replace your furnace altogether. Don’t panic yet, though. While many noises can represent problems and should not be taken lightly, the majority of them can be minimized if you’re proactive about it. Knowing what each type of noise means can help you save yourself quite a bit of discomfort and money.

Whistling Noise

A whistling noise is one of the least serious sounds you may hear coming from your heating system. The furnace’s air filter causes this noise in most cases. That air filter protects the furnace by trapping floating particles of dust and dirt, but when the filter itself becomes clogged, it makes it harder for the heating unit to pull air through. This is where the whistling noise is coming from, and you should take the sound as a signal that it’s time to replace the air filter with a new, clean one. Ideally, you should try to make this change a regular part of your furnace care routine.

Banging or Booming Noises

If you’re hearing occasional or even regular banging or booming noises coming from your furnace, you shouldn’t ignore it. These sounds typically happen with gas-burning furnaces, which usually means that gas is building up within the appliance. The noise happens when there is a delay with the ignition of the gas burners, which is usually caused by one of the burners being dirty or clogged. You won’t want to try and fix this yourself, and you also shouldn’t wait around to bring in a professional because a malfunctioning gas burner can sometimes cause damage to the heat exchanger, which is a more serious problem.

Screeching or Shrieking

If you’re hearing a high-pitched screeching, shrieking, or squealing sound coming from your furnace, it’s certainly annoying, but it’s probably not all that serious. In most cases, it’s caused by a motor issue such as a loose or damaged belt or possibly just a loose screw. It may also mean that the bearings need to be lubricated so that they can operate more smoothly. It will be hard to tell on your own which of these is actually causing it, so your best bet will be to bring in a heating technician as soon as you can.

Popping Noises

If you’re hearing occasional popping sounds coming from your HVAC system, the issue may actually be taking place in your air vents as opposed to inside your furnace. Your heating system uses these ducts to circulate heat throughout your household. However, sometimes when that warm air from the furnace comes in contact with the cold metal of the ducts, the metal starts to expand, which can result in those popping sounds that you’re hearing. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about, but for your own peace of mind, you may consider bringing in a ductwork expert for an inspection.

Rattling Noises

If your furnace is regularly making a rattling noise while it operates, you would be wise to turn the appliance off until you’re able to have it professionally inspected. It’s possible that this noise is only being caused by a loose panel or screw, which is a relatively minor concern. Alternatively, it could be a more serious problem, such as a cracked heat exchanger, which can lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your home. Even if the problem is only a loose screw, that loose part may end up contacting and damaging other parts of the furnace, so you don’t want to take the risk of leaving it running.

At Hometown Heating & Air, we are a locally owned and operated business that has been serving the greater Cedarburg, WI, area since 2016. We strive to earn the trust of our community by treating them like friends and family and by providing them with excellent comfort services. Our areas of expertise include heating, cooling, and indoor air quality. We also fully believe in supporting our local community, which is why we participate in a variety of community and chamber events in the area.

Let our friendly team take care of your household needs. Give us a call at Hometown Heating & Air, and get an appointment on the books today.

5 Tips to Ensure That Your HVAC System Is Ready for Winter Storms

Everyone knows how bad winters can be around Cedarburg, including the infamous snowstorms. One of the many challenges these intense storms bring is keeping your HVAC system running strongly. Here are five tips to prepare your HVAC system for the storms that are sure to come this winter.

1. Schedule Your Heating Maintenance

The most important thing that you can do at the start of the season to prepare for the coming storms is to get your system’s routine maintenance performed. You’ll enjoy better efficiency throughout the entire season as a result. However, you’ll also stave off predictable breakdowns when extreme weather strikes.

Routine maintenance cleans your system to allow it to operate with less stress, extending the life of all system components. Additionally, it seeks to identify components operating suboptimally before the weather turns frigid. Any components already straining will fail with the additional strain this weather brings, leaving your house without heat and with expensive emergency repair bills.

2. Check Your Vents

Your system depends on air movement to efficiently heat your home. It creates air movement by producing high pressure at the output vents and low pressure at the return vent. If these vents are closed or obstructed, then the air doesn’t circulate properly throughout your home.

This also means that closed doors inhibit your system’s ability to heat your home. Sure, one room may seem pleasantly warm, but it means that your system runs longer to bring the rest of your home to your set temperature.

Whenever possible, keep all doors open to spaces that your heating system serves. Keep your vents open, and ensure that each one has at least a 2-inch clearance above and around it. This ensures that air can effectively flow from the vent and create that circulatory flow.

3. Keep Your Air Filter Clean

Your air filter is critical to keeping air flowing through your HVAC system. It removes particles that would otherwise settle on the sensitive internal components. But its placement means it also easily creates an airflow restriction at the start of your system if it gets clogged.

Most 1-inch filters need replacing about every 90 days if you have average air quality. However, freezing temperatures may make your home unusually dry, leading to more airborne particles. Keep some extra filters on hand in case you need to change your filters during a storm.

Plan to check your filter monthly over the winter to catch it early when it clogs. When you do check it, gently vacuum off the intake side to extend the filter life and prevent reduced airflow through your system between filter changes.

4. Fix Small Problems

Small problems may be difficult to catch if they occur after your maintenance visit. However, noticing small changes may help prevent unnecessary strain on your system before the bitter cold arrives. Some subtle signs that you should watch for include:

  • Reduced airflow from your vents
  • Unusually long heating cycles
  • Cooler air from your vents
  • Unusual rattles or squeals
  • Sooty residue around your vents

A clogged air filter may cause some of these, so check there first. If you’ve just changed your filter, or if it’s pretty clean, call for a certified technician to identify the underlying problem. This protects your system and family from an emergency repair at the time you depend on your system to stay safe.

5. Think Through a Generator

Winter storms notoriously knock out power for at least a short time. Think about whether you’ll try to use a portable generator when this happens. Plan for where you’ll set up the generator so that you don’t risk carbon monoxide poisoning.

Plan for how you’ll which appliances you’ll connect to the generator and how you’ll get them connected. Be sure that you have appropriately sized and rated extension cords and know how you’ll run them through your home. Consider firing up the generator at the beginning of the season to make sure that it starts and runs properly before you might need it.

When you need reliable HVAC service, trust the Hometown Heating & Air Conditioning team. We’ve been serving Cedarburg since 2016. Our NATE-certified technicians provide heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair, along with indoor air quality solutions. Call to schedule your heating maintenance or repair with one of our expert technicians today.